Holiday Safety and Year-round Peace of Mind

The holidays are just around the corner and it’s a wonderful time of year! It’s a time to see friends, family, or go on that nice relaxing vacation you’ve been looking forward to all year. But taking a few precautions can help keep you safe.

Five safety tips for when you are out and about: 

  • Light up outside. The strings of outdoor Christmas lights are cheery but if your home goes dark when you leave town, it signals that you’re not home. Put them on a timer and mount exterior lights on your home, out of reach. These should also be put on a timer or used as motion detectors.
  • Make it seem like you are home. Put your usual indoor lights on timers and leave blinds in their usual positions so it appears you are home.
  • Hide and lock your valuables. A burglar wants to get in and out fast! They know to check a desk and the bedroom for important documents and jewelry. Put your laptops, lock boxes, important papers, and expensive items in multiple well-hidden/unusual locations.
  • If you are going to be away for more than a day, have your mail held or have a neighbor pick it up.
  • Ask trustworthy neighbors to keep an eye on your home. Letting a few people know you are gone will help keep them on alert for something amiss.

According to multiple research studies, burglars avoid homes with alarm systems. Monitored alarms don’t just make noise, but alert emergency services so there is a quick response to the trouble. In addition, most insurance companies offer a discount on homeowner’s insurance if you have a security system, making them a smart investment in your family’s safety and property.

 

Five advantages of having a Secur-Tek Inc. smart home security system around the holidays:

 

Package Theft

Concerned about your online shopping being left on the doorstep while you are away? As well as being a target for porch pirates, a package indicates that no one is home when potential thieves check out the neighborhood. For peace of mind, a video doorbell or entryway camera can verify a delivery. A smart security system can unlock your front door or garage so a neighbor or authorized deliveryman can put the package inside.

Property damage

Gas and smoke detectors can be connected to your security system and monitored 24 hours a day to maximize protection for your family, property, and pets while at home or away.

Water damage

When you’re home, small problems like a leaky hot water heater can be quickly dealt with. Leave home for a few days and even a slow leak can cause serious flooding and expensive damage. With a monitored system and specialized detectors, you can know if something goes wrong at your property. With a smart system, you can even activate a water shutoff to minimize damage. 

Pet monitoring

Ever wonder if your pet sitter or neighbor remembered to feed, walk and play with your pets? No worries: just give your pet caretaker a temporary security code so they can enter when needed. This dedicated code unlocks your door and can alert you when your sitter uses it. If you want to see how your buddy is doing, just add cameras to your security system. Secur-Tek’s technician will place cameras so you can check in on your pets and see for yourself! 

Home Security

Finally, as you travel around for the holidays, you can be assured your property is protected. With a cost-effective Secur-Tek customized security system that monitors 24/7, it will notify the security professionals at our monitoring center, who immediately alert your local police and fire department for you. This ensures a quick response to minimize any loss or damage if an unfortunate incident should happen.  

Smart home security is the way to eliminate many of the worries that creep into our minds during the holidays. Remote access allows you to be notified, view and control activity in the interior or exterior of your home at any time.

 

Have a happy and safe holiday season from all of us at Secur-Tek, Inc! 

 

 

Secur-Tek is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security, monitoring, automation, audio, and central vacuum systems.

Our service area includes these North Carolina communities: Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, Pittsboro and Wake Forest.

Thanksgiving Time

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year; it gives us a chance to relax and reflect on the things we are truly grateful for. 

At Secur-Tek, we’ve had a wonderful year and would like to thank

  • Our amazing customers, and
  • Our fabulous team of employees and partners.

We are also grateful for the incredible North Carolina Triangle area that we are privileged to live in and serve.  

If you’ll be sharing this holiday with those you care about, here are some fun Thanksgiving trivia questions to banter about over that delicious pumpkin pie.

See how many of these you know!

 

Where was the first Thanksgiving?

Colonists and the Wampanoag tribe shared a harvest feast in 1621 at Plymouth, Massachusetts which is widely acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations. 

But some historians argue that Massachusetts may not have been the true location of our first Thanksgiving. They note that nearly 60 years before the Plymouth celebration, a Spanish fleet landed in Florida and planted a cross on the sandy beach to christen the new settlement of St. Augustine. To celebrate the arrival and give thanks for God’s providence, the eight hundred Spanish settlers shared a festive meal with the native Timucuan people.

When was the first American call for a national Thanksgiving?

America first called for a National Day of Thanksgiving to celebrate victory over the British in the Battle of Saratoga. In 1789, George Washington again called for a National Day of Thanks on the last Thursday of November to commemorate the end of the Revolutionary War and the ratification of the Constitution.

Which president refused to recognize Thanksgiving?

Thomas Jefferson was famously the only Founding Father and early president who refused to declare days of thanksgiving and feasting. Unlike his political rivals, the Federalists, Jefferson believed in “a wall of separation between Church and State” and believed that endorsing such celebrations as president would be equivalent to promoting state-sponsored religious worship.

How long has pumpkin pie been a traditional part of Thanksgiving?

Pumpkin pie was a staple on New England Thanksgiving tables as far back as the turn of the 18th century. Legend has it that the Connecticut town of Colchester postponed its Thanksgiving feast for a week in 1705 due to a molasses shortage. There could simply be no Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.

Why is football a Thanksgiving tradition?

The first Thanksgiving football game was a college match between Yale and Princeton in 1876, way before there was anything called the NFL. Soon after, Thanksgiving Day was selected as the date of the college football championships. By the 1890s, thousands of college and high school football rivalries were played every Thanksgiving.

When was the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

To celebrate the expansion of its Herald Square superstore, Macy’s announced its first “Big Christmas Parade” two weeks before Thanksgiving in 1924, promising floats, bands, and an animal circus. It was a tremendous success! Macy’s later trimmed the parade route from six to two miles and signed a TV contract with NBC to broadcast the now-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

 

Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from Secur-Tek, Inc!

 

If you would like a whole collection of Thanksgiving trivia and answers to play as a game – here is a website you can reference: https://www.brightful.me/blog/thanksgiving-trivia/

*Source: Thanksgiving History Facts and Trivia – HISTORY, https://www.history.com/news/thanksgiving-history-trivia-facts.

 

 

Water Sensors

 

Damage to homes and businesses from extreme temperatures, power outages/surges, failed/faulty appliances, and in-home flooding can cause personal and financial devastation. In fact, these environmental extremes are in the top five causes of insurance claims. 

According to the American Insurance Association, water damage claims have been growing faster than any other component of homeowners insurance. One in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year.

Here in North Carolina where we have multiple weather events each year, such as Ice storms, Tornados, Hurricanes, Flash Floods, Extreme temperature swings and power outages – the potential for property damage due to water is high.

But you can protect yourself from the property and financial devastation that water damage can cause by acting proactively — have a professional security alarm/sensor company install a multiple environmental sensor system into your home or place of business.

Note: To be fully protected and be credited by homeowners’ insurance, the system must be installed and monitored by a professionally certified company – self-installed and monitored systems do not qualify.

Whatever the installation challenge, Secur-Tek’s Honeywell Home Environmental Sensors can play a critical role in helping to prevent damage due to flooding or extreme temperatures in your home or business while lowering insurance premiums.

Here’s what a professional environmental sensor system can do for you: 

  • Monitor kitchens, basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, freezers, boiler rooms and other areas for flood and extreme temperature detection 
  • Minimize or avert costly damages from flooding or faulty appliances
  • Help alleviate dangerous health risks from mold 
  • Help create a safer home and work environment 
  • Give you peace of mind with 24/7 central station text alerts on mobile devices via Resideo Total Connect Remote Services 

So, if you are living in Central North Carolina, isn’t it time to give us a call to discuss what a sensor system can do for you?

Spring is Here! Time for Thinking About Safety and Pool Gates

Spring is here and it’s time to get out and enjoy the benefits of the warmer weather.

That may include swimming at the local pool, working out, or socializing at the neighborhood clubhouse. While these amenities are great for residents, they can create liability issues for the HOA or property management group.  Controlling access while balancing convenience for the residents and monitoring for safety and security is important.   

Secur-Tek, Inc. sells and installs equipment and monitoring solutions for community pools and shared amenities in the greater Raleigh, North Carolina area.

Solutions using coded cards or key fobs to control the swimming pool and fitness center access are efficient and cost-effective. Requiring cards, or fobs to enter pool gates keep strangers or unattended children out while offering convenient access to members or residents.  They can also be set up to open gates at specific times and coded so authorized personnel can review when access is requested for legal as well as illegal entry. 

For ease of access management, Secur-Tek can provide remote hosting. Controlled internet access provides the ability to make program changes or unlock/lock a door/gate from anywhere. For best control of your point of access, we install Keyscan access systems manufactured by Dormakaba, a global leader in the security and access control market.  

In addition to good fencing and access point control, we highly recommend installing a camera system. Cameras serve multiple purposes. Most importantly, when visible, they act as a deterrent to potentially hazardous or destructive behavior. If the unfortunate happens, they can prove helpful for identifying and prosecuting individuals caught in the act of trespassing or vandalizing the property. Should the situation arise where someone is injured cameras also offer the option to review what happened and validate that safety equipment was in place.

Securing common areas while allowing convenient access for those authorized to use them is a critical issue for HOAs. Secur-Tek has the experience to help with this responsibility through the process of selecting and installing the right equipment given your situation, budget, and safety/security requirements. 

If you need to update or install a new access control system, give us a call at 919-387-1800

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​Secur-Tek is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security, monitoring, automation audio and central vacuum systems.  Our service area includes Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro in North Carolina.

Preparing for a move? Check out these helpful security tips!

You have searched and found your new home, the contract is signed, inspections completed, and now you are preparing to move your family near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Here are a few ideas to help secure your new property and ensure your family’s safety and peace of mind at your new location.

Thoroughly acquaint yourself with the neighborhood:

Take the time to get to know your new neighbors and find out if they have a neighborhood watch group. If there is, find out when and how you can meet with them to introduce yourself and offer to be an active member. In addition, take the time to locate the local police, fire, rescue stations, and hospitals to understand routes and response times. Finally, acquaint yourself with any enjoyable features of the location like community centers (for example, Bond Park Community Center, Cary NC), pools (Triangle Aquatic Center), walking trails/parks (Umstead State Park) and review safe usage of these areas with your family.

Take inventory and fix/enhance the safety aspects of the property:

Check how well the lighting illuminates the entry, walkways, driveway, yard space and window areas around your house. Take the time to install additional lighting (motion sensor lighting is great) where lighting is not adequate. Then examine the landscaping for overgrown or poorly placed bushes that can give potential intruders a place to hide, especially near doors and windows.

Re-examine the doors to the exterior:

The safest doors for your home are built out of metal or with solid wood cores. Having a deadbolt in addition to your entry locks is a must. Be aware that sometimes the most aesthetically pleasing decorator doors sometimes offer the least amount of safety from intrusion. For example, glass panels in or next to the doors offer burglars easy access. There are many companies in the Raleigh area, such as The Aluminum Company of North Carolina, that can help you select the safest as well as stylish doors for all the entryways in your home.

Home and property security system:

Having a security system can give you peace of mind when moving to a  area and home. If a system is already installed, have it checked out to ensure it is functioning properly, has the features that you and your family use, and consider having it monitored. The window and door sensors may need adjustment, as well as the location and alignment of the motion sensors to ensure they are properly aimed and positioned for maximum benefit. If the home doesn’t have a security system, think about the benefits of installing one, as they are an effective method for ensuring your new residence will offer you the safety and security your family desires.

Moving is an exciting and stressful time. Secur-Tek is here to serve the Triangle area’s home and business security needs 

We offer a complimentary security consultation of your home/business property and offer suggestions on upgrading your current system or new systems that Secur-Tek has to offer. Please call us at your earliest convenience — either before you move (which is best so we can help you get your new home secure before your family arrives) or soon after. 

Secur-Tek is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security, monitoring, automation audio, and central vacuum systems. Our service area includes Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro in North Carolina.

Carbon Monoxide in The Home — A Hidden Danger!

Carbon monoxide (CO) is harmful because it deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome a person in minutes, causing them to lose consciousness and suffocate. Since CO has no odor, color, or taste, it cannot be detected by the senses. This means that dangerous concentrations of the gas can build up indoors and humans cannot detect the problem until they become ill. Furthermore, the early symptoms of CO poisoning are like the flu, which can cause victims to ignore the signs. The most common symptoms felt are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Per the CDC, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. 

 

What are the potential sources of CO in your home?

Homes with fuel-burning appliances or attached garages are more likely to have CO accumulation problems. Some common sources of CO are:

  • Clothes dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Furnaces
  • Fireplaces, both gas, and wood-burning
  • Gas stoves and ovens
  • Motor vehicles
  • Grills, generators, power tools, lawn equipment
  • Wood stoves
  • Tobacco smoke

When appliances and vents work properly and there is enough fresh air in your home to allow complete combustion, the trace amounts of CO remaining are safely vented outside your home. Problems occur when an appliance malfunctions. For example, a furnace heat exchanger cracks, vents clog, or debris blocks the chimney or flue.

What can you do to ensure the safety of your family, pets, and friends?

  • Install a CO alarm as recommended by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Install a battery-operated or a plugin alarm with battery back-up on every level of the home – including the basement. Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall and replace your CO detector every five years.
  • Inspect the pilot lights on natural gas appliances to ensure that the flame is blue. When a flame is mostly yellow, it likely is producing CO.
  • When you buy gas equipment, buy only equipment carrying the seal of a national testing agency, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories, and have it serviced by a qualified technician each year.
  • Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly. Horizontal vent pipes for appliances, such as a water heater, should angle up slightly. This prevents CO from leaking even if the joints or pipes don’t fit tightly.
  • If you have a fireplace, have your chimney checked or cleaned every year. Chimneys can be partially blocked by debris and this can cause CO to build up inside your home.
  • Don’t use outdoor equipment inside – like chemical heaters, camp stoves, or charcoal grills.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
  • Never leave a car running in a garage — even for a couple of minutes with the overhead garage door open.

Protecting your Family 24/7 —  Monitored CO detection

Adding a monitored CO detector outside the bedrooms ensures that the fire department will be called — even if everyone is asleep or drowsy due to the lack of oxygen. When notified of a CO leak, the fire department will react differently than if responding to a smoke alarm and the home will be searched for non-responsive individuals.

A Secur-Tek security system has a backup battery to maintain security and detection for 20-24 hours if fully charged during the event of a power failure. Your keypad will display when the battery needs to be replaced. For instructions on changing battery: Frequently Asked Questions about Home Security Systems (secur-tek.com)

Secur-Tek, Inc. gives you total confidence that your family is protected from CO poisoning 24/7, and we can also design, install, and monitor specialized monitoring systems to fit your specific needs.

Examples include:

  • Monitoring Children – If you have teenagers or children old enough to be home alone, remote access will allow you to be notified when they get home from school. You can use specialized security codes for each child as well as babysitters and view activity in the interior and exterior of your home for extra peace of mind.
  • Monitoring Elderly Parents – If you need to monitor an elderly parent, you can be notified when they get up out of bed, open the medicine cabinet or when there is no activity in the home.
  • Keeping an eye on Pets – Our technicians will put the cameras in places so you can check in on your pets. Temporary security codes for pet sitters will help give you greater peace of mind that your pet is doing okay.  
  • Detecting Water Leaks – When you are not home, even a slow leak can cause serious flooding and expensive damage.  Adding a water leak detector so you will be alerted if this happens can minimize the damage.  Our monitored smart system can even turn off a water shutoff to minimize damage.

Quality Monitoring

 For monitoring services, Secur-Tek partners with Affiliated Monitoring, a leader in the safety and security monitoring industry.

Affiliated Monitoring is certified by the following organizations:

  • CSAA Five Diamond Certified – The Monitoring Association Five Diamond Certificate signifies compliance and assurance that an alarm system has followed guidelines established by best-industry practice. The certificate recognizes best practices utilizing existing standards.
  • UL Listed — UL listed monitoring centers use the most up-to-date technologies.  UL is the trusted resource across the globe for product safety certification and compliance solutions. The UL Certificate is proof that Affiliated’s listed alarm systems meet the stringent standards of the UL.
  • IQ Certified – The IQ (Installation Quality) Certification Program gives consumers a way to identify alarm companies that are committed to providing them with high-quality security and life safety systems.

For more information, please call us at (919) 387-1800 or scroll down and use the form below.

Security & Home Automation